Chef Wolfman's Aboriginal fusion inspires Native restaurants


Chef David Wolfman is a culinary arts professor at George Brown College in Toronto and the star of his own TV show Cooking with the Wolfman, which just wrapped its 8th season.  He has made a career out of developing new ways of cooking traditional Aboriginal foods and in the process creating a new food trend: Aboriginal fusion. Trailbreakers host Don Kelly talks with the chef about how he infuses his cooking with advice on healthy eating, exploring Aboriginal foods and practicing what he preaches by taking his techniques out into the community.

Here is a look at some of the Aboriginal restaurants around the country who have followed in the Wolfman's steps and offer their version of Aboriginal fusion fare.

Salmon n' Bannock first opened their doors during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. This year they came in No. 24 in's Top 50 restaurants in Canada. With items like deer shank, bannock bison burgers and muskox on the menu, it should be a definite stop while visiting the Lower Mainland.

Keriwa Café is perhaps Canada's newest Aboriginal-inspired restaurant. Located at Rocancesvalles and Queen Street West in Toronto. Chef/owner Aaron Joseph Bear Robe originally hails from Siksika Nation in Alberta and met his sous chef Dennis Tay while they both worked at another restaurant. Pickerel, bison skirt steak and a variety of berry-infused menu choices are only the beginning.

Chief Chiniki Restaurant has been a mainstay along the Trans Canada Highway for years. Located 50 kms west of Calgary in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains this one serves up pretty average fare. But if you're looking for Indian tacos and stew and not much fanfare, this is the place for you.

La Traite is operated out of the high-end l'Hôtel-Musée premières nations in Wendake, Quebec - the Huron-Wendat Nation. It offers a variety of menu choices but the ones that stand out are the home-smoked fish and game, Micmac mussels, antipasto du nord featuring deer jerky and caribou while chokecherry jelly compliments other dishes.

Kekuli Café where their motto is "Don't panic...we have bannock!" And boy, do they ever. Kekuli Café in the Okanagan, West Bank to be specific, has a lot of different kinds of burgers served up on bannock including bison and wild salmon. Kekuli Bistro recently opened at the Nk'Mip (pronounced in-ka-meep) campground and RV park in Osoyoos.

Special mention goes out to Elsie Bear's Kitchen in Winnipeg who CBC Manitoba always calls up to cater Aboriginal staff events.
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